Friday, October 24, 2014

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More Speed Cameras Going Up in City School Zones

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With classes set to begin later this week, the mayor is touting the expansion of speed cameras near city schools—a centerpiece of his Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic deaths. NY1’s Bobby Cuza filed the following report.

It was one of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s big legislative victories this year: convincing Albany lawmakers to authorize an additional 120 speed cameras in the city cameras now beginning to appear near city schools.

Under the law, the cameras must be located in school zones, like outside P.S. 95 in the Bronx—a high-crash corridor the mayor used as backdrop to tout the city's speed camera expansion.

“We want to make our school zones safer than ever,” de Blasio said.

Unlike existing enforcement cameras that are fixed, some of the new cameras are mobile, the technology mounted both outside and inside city DOT vehicles.

If it’s determined you’re going at least 10 miles over the speed limit, a camera mounted here on the front windshield will photograph your license plate, resulting in a violation being mailed to your home. The penalty is $50.

While that fine is relatively low compared to other violations, the 23 speed cameras already in use have yielded nine million dollars in revenue this year. City officials say 40 to 50 more cameras will be up and running by the end of the year; with all 140 in place by the end of next year.

“These are already making a difference. They are saving lives,” said Paul Steely White of Transportation Alternatives.

The announcement was also a chance to heap praise on state Senate co-leader Jeffrey Klein, currently in a hard-fought primary race against former City Councilman and state Attorney General Oliver Koppell.

“I want to thank him for stepping up for his constituents,” de Blasio said.

The admiration was mutual.

“He has had, I think, the best first year in office in being able to work the Albany system,” Klein said.

As the mayor noted, Klein was instrumental in passing the speed camera bill and legislation lowering the city’s default speed limit from 30 to 25 miles an hour. That law takes effect in November.

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